The Shield

Unexpected lessons

Megan Miller, Chief Copy Editor

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Almost every time I tell someone I’m an English major, they ask me if I want to be an English teacher.

Regardless of hearing this over and over, I never, ever wanted to be a teacher. I insisted this throughout high school, and even now I don’t think I would be a good at running a classroom full of unruly children.

Somehow, though, that’s kind of where I’ve ended up. I was a writing tutor for almost a year and I’ve taught color guard for about two and a half years at two different high schools.

Through accidentally stumbling into not one, but two jobs concerning education, I’ve learned that the teacher learns at least as much as the student, and maybe not in the same way one would expect.

Sure, every time I explain a concept or make a correction it further cements that idea into my own memory, but I’ve also learned much more beyond the exact subject I’m teaching.

Tutoring students with a native language other than my own exposed me to aspects of world languages that I wouldn’t have learned in class, and teaching dance allowed me to better understand movement and body language.

Perhaps the most significant things I’ve learned from teaching are broader social skills, like understanding someone’s difficulty with a concept that’s not difficult for me or looking for ways to address their problems without confusing them even further.

Teaching, though I don’t do it full-time, has undoubtedly made me a better person with a greater respect for people with different learning processes than my own.

I would highly recommend that anyone with an aptitude for a particular subject and any desire at all to tutor try their hand at it.

I did so very reluctantly with major insecurities about my ability to actually help other students. Though I don’t see myself teaching an elementary or high school class any time soon, the experience I gained from teaching has proven to be invaluable.

I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
Unexpected lessons